Translocations Season 1 Recap
Last season, Obedient Juvie (a.k.a. O.J.) and Curious Juvie (a.k.a. C.J.) helped me out with my first pilot study to test heat flux biologgers (what are these?) on freely swimming juvenile elephant seals. Not only did we learn what worked and what didn’t work in terms of sensor attachment and configuration, we also found out that translocations can take some unexpected plot turns, like having to drive 3 hours south to another elephant seal rookery to find C.J. and recover the instruments (read all about it here).
Unlike O.J., none of the heat flux sensors were still attached when we found C.J., but much to my surprise, there was good data recorded on the tags!
The snapshot of the data below shows what I mean by ‘good’ data. The heat flux patterns from the two sensors were similar and seemed to vary based on dive behavior, which led me to believe the sensors remained attached for the entire 8-day trip out at sea until the juvenile got back on land. If the heat flux sensor had become detached during the trip, I would have expected to see a relatively flat line (with some noise) for the heat flux data. But there was no ‘flat line of doom’ when I downloaded and looked at the data on Instrument Helper (Wildlife Computers, Redmond, WA)—success!
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